Implementation of warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 21 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 2:00, 21 Ebrill 2016

As the hon. and learned Gentleman says, we have been down this road before. I well recall discussing similar amendments to the targeted interception provisions in part 2. The Bill maintains the existing position in relation to extraterritorial jurisdiction and those obligations that apply to overseas companies. I am unhesitating in my view that overseas companies, because of their important role in communications, must do their bit to do the right thing, as I said previously and memorably. As a result, I will not tire the Committee by going into that argument in great detail.

Amendment 293 to clause 109 seeks to remove the ability to serve a warrant on an overseas provider and amendment 645 seeks to remove the ability to serve a warrant on an overseas provider when a mutual legal assistance agreement is in place. I draw the Committee’s attention once again to David Anderson’s comments in his report, in paragraph 11.26:

“There is little dispute that the MLAT route is currently ineffective.”

I will not quote it at length but he goes on to say that it is because it is too slow and so on. I do not think that those amendments are in line with either his view or mine.

The effect of accepting the first amendment is evident. It would mean we could serve an equipment interference warrant only on a provider based in the UK. The second amendment seeks to assert mutual legal assistance arrangements as the only route. For the reasons I have already given, that is not appropriate.

The hon. and learned Gentleman asked, in the context of his amendment, whether that matter was implicit. Yes, it is implicit and I can confirm what he thought might be the case.

The arguments have already been made and, on careful reconsideration, the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North will realise that his amendment and argument are pseudodox and will withdraw on that basis.